Dec 16, 2011

Month of Teacher's Running

December is a busy time for teacher and it is nicknamed the month of teacher's running.  That is the truth for me this year.  Not only am I preparing for the holidays, hatsugama and tea lessons, but am also sewing and making bags for the SweetPersimmon store.  More about that later.

Hatsugama invitations should be in the mail soon.  Please mark your calendars for Saturday January 14th.

Don't forget this coming Sunday the 18th is Kagetsu study at 1:30 at Mieko sensei's house.   New introduction and tray style classes are forming for January.  Please let me know if you have friends who may be interested.  I'll post and send emails soon.

In the meantime, some of my students are looking at acquiring a kama. It is a big commitment to purchase one, but when you see the work that goes into making one, it is well worth the price. Each Kama is one of a kind since they break the mold after casting. It normally takes 3 months to go through the process and compltete a kama. If you take care of your kama, it will last a lifetime.  We are fortunate to have on loan from Tim-sensei in Seattle a beautiful Ro kama made by the famous Keitan Takahashi. This kama was made in the early 1960s before he was named a living national treasure in Japan. He passed away in 1999.   

The process for making a kama:

 Step 1 : Making a sketch of the body
 Step 2 : Making designs on the Washi paper
 Step 3 : Making mold by sands
 Step 4 : Making designs on the mold
 Step 5 : Cast iron into the mold
 Step 6 : Polish the surface of the Kama

Below are videos showing the work that goes into making a kama and some of the beautiful work by Keitan Takahashi.  Please enjoy.




  1. Thank you for sharing these information and links about kama! I was lucky to meet the kamashi Oonishi Seiwemon in Shikoku last month. He said his family has a museum in Kyoto ( where you can sometimes watch the artisans while they're making the kama. Did you have the opportunity to go there?

  2. Zazen Rouge,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes, lucky you to be able to mee Oonishi Seiwemon! We did visit the museum in Kyoto when I was in Midorikai. We got a tour but unfortunately there wasn't much going on and nobody was working on any kama.